Local News

Duke Business Professor Offers College Course Through Cyberspace

Posted January 28, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Imagine going back to class to brush up on the latest business methods and skills while staying at home or from work! A class at Duke University is being used to offer high-level classes to students away from campus.

Forty MBA students fromDuke University's Fuqua School of Businessinteract with Professor Campbell Harvey during thetwo-hour, two-day-a-week class. Forty others follow the class over the Internet.

"This is a way for them to watch what actually happens in the classroom," he says.

Four remote- and human-controlled cameras shoot the special classroom. The Webcast is directed from a control room and sent into cyberspace.

"There's nothing like the classroom experience, and even though you're not physically in the classroom, you can get a lot out of people's questions and hear the professor, maybe explain something in different words," says student Gigi Widham.

The school is the first to offer such a course to off-site students. Future business leaders say it will help them later.

"I think it's really going to pay off for us long-term. One of the values of going to a top business school is the faculty and the continuing education you can get from the faculty," says student John Weber.

In the future, Harvey hopes to build in interactivity for off-campus students.

"It is definitely a one-way technology right now. It's not the best, but it's way better than anything else that we've ever had," he says.

One person is taking the course in Australia. It is available to Duke alumni and non-Duke students.